2/1 The American Revolution
The origins of independence
The first English settlers arrived on the east coast of
North America in the early 17th century. By the mid-18th century, they had formed the Thirteen Colonies.
northern colonies, the economy was based on acriculture and trade. Southern colonies, the main activity was tobacco farming, and the work was done by black slaves.
Britain wanted raw materials from their American
colonies, but they had no interest in developing
industry there. They also held a monopoly on
trade, which made trade difficult between the
Thirteen Colonies and other areas of America. The
economy was therefore an important source of
conflict: the colonies saw the British. Crown as an obstacle to their development. There were also political tensions. Colonial assemblies had significant powers, such as collecting certain taxes. Britain
imposed taxes on the settlers, but they often did not
pay. This was a sign of protest, as the settlers were
not represented in the British Parliament.
'No taxation without representation' became a popular slogan.
Between 1764 and 1766, King George III tried to
impose new taxes on the colonies, but colonies
responded by refusing to buy British products.
British Parliament passed the Tea Act, which gave the English East India. Company monopoly on the sale of tea in the colonies. This
hurt American traders, who responded by attacking
British ships loaded with tea in the Boston. Harbour.
This event is known as the Boston Tea Party,
and was followed by the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1775. There were important political chancges.
In 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote
the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which
outlined the principles of national sovereignty,
separation of powers and suffrage.
On 4th July 1776, the representatives of the Thirtpen
Colonies met in the Continental Congress of
Philadelphia. There, they signed the Declaration of
Independence of the United States of America.
The American Revolutionary War
During the American Revolutionary War, also known as the American War of Independence (1775-1783), the American colonies, were supported by France and Spain. The colonies, led by General George Washington, won decisive victories at Saratoga and Yorktown. Then, Britain recognised
the United States as an independent nation in the
Treaty of Versailles (1783)..
The United States Constitution was signed in
1787. It was the first constitution in history, and
established national sovereignty and the separation
of powers. Legislative power was held by two
bodies: the House of Representatives and the
Senate. Their members were chosen in free
elections, although only white males could vote.
Executive power was held by a president, and
judicial power was held by independent judges.
In 1789 George Washington became the first
president of the United States.